Tell stories to reframe their worldview

Education can kill your sales. Imagine the fitness guru, who teaches me how to do the perfect pushup, for free. That’s great, but it also puts the responsibility on me: no more excuses for not doing my pushups. And no reason to buy his paid course, until I’m at least doing 100 pushups a day.

The same applies to all sorts of other products: educating can get in the way of closing the sale. But there’s another way: provide reframes. The glass isn’t half empty, but half full. Give me a different way to see the world. Reframes provide value by helping me better understand how the world works. And now that I know, I’ll feel even more inclined to buy the pushup course.


  • In a subtle way, educating people puts additional responsibility on them. A weight they may have never explicitly asked for: now that they actually know how to do something, there is no longer anything blocking them from doing it. Now that I know how to do the pushup, the only blocker left is my own motivation.
  • Without necessarily articulating it that way, people will build a level of resentment towards you. Sure, they want to learn, but they maybe don’t want the extra items on their to-do list! Even though education certainly provides value, it also creates friction.
  • Reframing works a little differently: reframing is knowledge in the purest sense: a new way to see the world. When Steve Jobs said that “design is how it works”, he gave us a new perspective on product design… but without adding any pressure on us. We can take the new knowledge, become a more successful person — without the friction of extra responsibility or work.
  • We believe that reframes are more powerful than simple education for another reason: reframes help you understand the world better, at a more fundamental level. Reframes are like alternative glasses that allow you to see things previously invisible. Showing people a new path is much more profound and intellectually stimulating than merely teaching the mechanics of how something works.
  • Finally, the stories. After thousands of years of evolution, stories are the best way for us to transmit ideas from one human brain to another. A well-chosen story, has the reframe as the moral or punchline of the story. Stories are the carrier, to infect (in a good way!) a new brain with a better meme, or a better idea.

In Practice

Throughout Double marketing, you see this principle clearly at work. In this book, each chapter is a reframe, shortly elaborated on. In our emails, we generally wrap such reframes into the packaging of a story, to make it easier to imagine, and easier to internalise.

The greatest use of the tool of storytelling to reframe one’s world, must be the novel Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. In a sweeping novel of more than 1,000 pages, Rand is almost invariably able to convert even the staunchest socialist to her capitalist worldview and philosophy of Objectivism.

Pair with

  • Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged
  • David Deutsch: Beginnings of Infinity, on memes (Chapter 15)
  • Andre Chaperon
Reframes build a worldview